Monday, February 25, 2013

Pork tenderloin, apples, onions, and asparagus

You will need

1 pork tenderloin, sliced into 0.5 inch cubes
3 tablespoons of Chinese five spice powder
thumb sized knob of ginger
2 garlic cloves
A similar amount of cilantro stalks (probably 1/4 of a bunch)
Crushed red pepper to taste
2 diced yellow onions
2 apples
Juice of 2 lemons
1 bunch of asparagus sliced into 1" long peices (discard the woody parts near the root end)

First slice up the pork into 0.5 inch on a side cubes.  Place in a bowl and cover with the Chinese five spice powder.

Next slice mince the ginger, garlic, and cilantro stalks and slice up the onion, asparagus, and apples.  Put the apples in a separate bowl and douse with the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Now that everything is prepped, put a frying pan or wok on at high heat with some olive oil.  When hot briefly brown the pork in two batches. Don't cook it all the way through, just brown the outside. When it's brown, remove from the pan.

After finishing with the pork, put some more oil in the pan and add the ginger, garlic, cilantro, and crushed red pepper on medium heat. Stir fry for a minute and the add the onions.  When the onions are soft (about 3 minutes) add the asparagus.  At this point, it can be useful to cover the pan to help steam the asparagus (about 3 minutes)

When the asparagus is tender, drain the lemon juice from the apples and add them to the pan along with the browned pork.  Cook stirring continuously until the apples are soft and the pork is cooked through (about 3 minutes).

Eat - maybe 3-4 servings.

You should roast your own nuts

Why you should roast your own nuts:
  1. taste
  2. less salt
  3. more interesting flavours 
  4. taste
  5. taste 
  6. taste
  7. less money needed for air freshnener (because they smell awesome for days)
  8. taste
  9. taste
  10. taste
I discovered roasting nuts while I was in Korea. Most nuts sold there are raw and not roasted. The ones that are roasted had so much salt, they were inedible.  It was a challenge to roast nuts there as I didn't have an oven - but you can use a frying pan on low heat and achieve the same effect - you just have to keep mixing them around so they don't burn. 

How to roast your nuts:
Buy some raw nuts. I recommend visiting I like to buy almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and pecans and mix them.

Line a sheet pan (approximately 18 inches x 13 inches) with parchment paper.

Spread the nuts out in the pan - a single layer is not necessary, but don't go too crazy. It's better to roast a small amount so next time you can try with a different spice mixture.

Put them in the oven at 350F for 30-35 min.

Test every 10 min or so to see if they have achieved your desired level of crunchieness.

Remove from the oven and add flavorings.

1. Vanilla extract - 2 tablespoons
2. Olive oil/butter - about 3-6 tablespoons. The nuts will absorb most of the oil and who cares if you use too much.
3. Add spices: go to and order some blends - I really like the Tandoori blend to put on the nuts. I use 3-4 tablespoons.

Be Happy.

If there are any left after they cool, store them at room temperature in a sealed container.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Orange peel beef

Beef + oranges = happy taste buds

You will need:
20 oz New York strip steak (about 2)
1 Cup Orange Juice
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
Almond flour
Coconut Oil
Thumb sized bit of fresh ginger minced
3 garlic cloves minced
Minced stalks from 1 bunch of cilantro
Dried red chilli pepper flakes
Peel from 2 oranges
1 bunch of green onions sliced in 1 inch chunks
sections from 4 clementines (or oranges, but clementines are easier)

To begin, put your steaks in the freezer for 20 min to make them easy to slice into thin strips.

After slicing, but them in a bowl and add the orange juice, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Let this mixture marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

While the meat is marinating, chop up the ginger, garlic, cilantro stalks and green onions; grate the orange peel with a microplane grater, and peel and separate the clementine sections.

After the meat has marinated for an hour, drain and discard the the liquid. Add about half a cup of almond flour. Add the almond flour until it looks like this:

To make sure that everything gets cooked well, it's best to cook in two batches. Get your wok (it had better be a nonstick one, or you will be in trouble in short order) out and put in a very generous spoonful of coconut oil.  Turn the heat on high (between 7-9 out of 10).  When the coconut oil melts, add half the orange peel, ginger, garlic, and cilantro stalks with a small or large pinch of the dried chili peppers depending on your preference. Swirl around in the pan for a minute or two, but don't let it burn.

Next, put in about half the beef. Put in a single layer on top of the mixture above so it will cook fast.

After it's been cooking for about a minute on one side, shake the pan and flip the steak over so the other side can cook.  At the same time, add half of the sliced green onions

Cook for another minute or two while continuing to keep the food in motion in the wok by stirring so everything gets hot. Next add half the clementine sections

Continue cooking another minute or two always keeping the food in motion in the pan with your spatula.

It's done! Repeat with the other half of the ingredients. Eat immediately - probably will serve 3-4 people

PS. I'm not so sure of the exact cooking times, you will just have to get a feel for it.  However, this one cooks quick!